Gloria Monaghan’s Swallowtail | north of oxford

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swallow tail

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The blue butterfly emerges along the path in the dunes.

near the ground near queen anne’s lace:

polyxenes, swallowtail

whatever you call it,

she’s like the dust on your ankle in the July heat.

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An early slipper moon, Venus

each present in the gaze of the other.

Years ago men wrote about the moon,

he called her Cynthia, as if she were a woman so close to his heart

held in early autumn as the eternal rhythm

midsummer when clothes fall off the body

in a kind of sad departure.

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A tiny early green worm made its way

to my house, and I opened the door and let her free.

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Glory

Gloria Monaghan is a professor at Wentworth University. She has published five books of poetry. Her poems have appeared in Alexandria Quarterly, NPR, Poem-a-Day, Nixes-Mate, Mom Egg Review, among others. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Award and the Massachusetts Book Award. Her book False Spring was nominated for the Griffin Award.

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